Lavandin is the only lavender to use for wand making, as its stalks are 18 to 24 inches long. When cutting fresh lavender stalks for a wand, I cut at the base of the stalk, right at the point of the first leaf. I use my pruners, but a sharp pair of scissors can also be used. Once the stalks are cut, I gather a handful together and secure them with a rubber band and lay them flat until I'm ready to bring them inside.
When drying single flower stalks, I lay them out in rows on newspapers in a dark, dry room. Keeping the flowers out of sunlight preserves their color. When drying large amounts, I hang the handful I collected in the garden from hooks in my barn, where there's plenty of air circulation and low light. It usually takes one to two weeks for lavender flowers to dry in hot summer weather. I check them every couple of days to make sure no mold has developed. The lavender scent volatizes quickly, but it can be refreshed by adding lavender oil or crushing some of the flowers. Store dried lavender out of direct sunlight to preserve its color and scent.
Here are the varieties of lavender you can pick this holiday weekend.